Holiday travel differs from vacation travel. Usually you’re going to visit friends or family and packing requirements change with this type of trip. As always check the temperature of your destination and as long as you have an idea of your trip activities packing doesn’t have to be difficult.

In my experience these trips are short 2-4 day trips. The most important thing to consider when packing is what activities you’ll be doing. Will you be a homebody visiting with family or will you be out and about visiting friends? Will you be doing shopping or sightseeing? I tried to come up with a general guideline for holiday packing to get you started on your packing list. Suit it to your needs and the climate of your destination.

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1. Outerwear
Most places are cold this time of year so a good coat will be a necessity.

2. One Sweater Dress
I love the variety of Sweater Dresses available from Old Navy right now. Sweater dresses are versatile enough to wear for a Holiday meal with family without feeling overdressed yet you could also wear it out for drinks and dinner. I tried to highlight dresses that would work for several body types. Some sweater dresses can be bulky so be mindful of how much room you have available in your suitcase. I don’t mind packing these for a shorter trip because overall you are bringing fewer clothes. Dress 1, Dress 2, Dress 3, Dress 4.

3. One Sweater
A sweater is a another necessary layer during colder weather. I chose a longer length sweater so that it could also be paired with leggings. Try and stay away from overly bulky knits and let your coat do most of the work. There’s a great variety of sweaters out there, I found this sweater on the H&M website for only $24.95. H&M now offers online shopping which is great news!

4. One Long Sleeve Base Layer
Layering is key during travel in the colder months. The long sleeve tee I’ve shown is also an H&M find and is long enough to be paired with leggings as well.

5. One Button Down Shirt
I hate to jump on the flannel trend but they are quite practical for staying warm. Plus I associate them with coziness and the holidays. Once again I go with an H&M find for it’s longer length and traditional red plaid pattern. These flannel shirts though can be found at just about any major retailer right now due to their popularity.

6. One Blouse
I have to include a blouse for giving you an extra casually dressy option when paired with jeans. A simple black blouse, jeans, and flats is a classic look.

7. Jeans
Simple skinny jeans are the workhorse of any travel wardrobe. If you are wearing tall boots then you’ll need to wear skinny jeans.

8. Leggings
I chose leggings for this capsule wardrobe to conserve space but you could also substitute this option with black ponte pants like these from the Gap or another pair of jeans.

9. Winter Accessories
Pack whatever winter accessories are necessary for the climate you’re visiting. I showed a chunky scarf, but if you need more winter warmth don’t forget a hat and gloves.

10. Weekender Bag
A small weekender bag should hold all your clothes for a small trip and make you look like a packing pro.

11. One pair of flats
This fun pair of flats should add a little bit of holiday sparkle to your travel outfits. However, if your travel plans include lots of walking you might want to substitute a more walking friendly shoe.

12. Booties
Booties can be comfortable and stylish. These booties can work with the sweater dress, jeans, or leggings. You can find these at a variety of price points depending on your budget.

13. Tall Boots
Tall Boots aren’t going away any time soon. They are comfortable and classic and can help you look pulled together.

14. Optional – Lounging Outfit
If part of your travel activities include staying warm indoors by curling up with your favorite book or if you just want to look cute for Christmas morning pictures you’ll want a cute lounging outfit. These sweater knit leggings and hoodie are from H&M but Target and Old Navy have similar outfits.

15. Optional – Slippers
If you’ve packed a lounging outfit you may as well pack some comfy slippers to go along with it.

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Happy Packing and Happy Holidays!

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Looking great while traveling doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Ideally you can put together your travel wardrobe from items already in your closet. If you find yourself missing key travel wardrobe items you can always look for cheap alternatives. Of course buying clothing of the highest quality is preferable but sometimes our budgets just don’t allow that. With that in mind I was impressed with Target’s Fall offerings and could see myself easily incorporating some (or all) of the items into my travel wardrobe.

Some things to keep in mind when shopping:
* Always look for the best fit, this may mean going up or down in your usual size but a good fit will mask any quality issues.
* The fabrication of clothing bought at cheaper places might include more synthetic blends but this works in your favor because they will be less bulky than cotton.
* Darker colors always look more expensive and will help you pull off a chic look.

This Target travel capsule wardrobe follows my packing light guidelines and you’ll find my essential 11 items included (1 outerwear, 2 sweaters, 1 Blouse/Button down, 2 layering tanks, 2 tees/tops, 2 jeans/pants, and 1 dress).

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1. Outerwear
A trench is a no-brainer for travel. Target’s version of the trench will help complete your travel outfits without costing a bundle.

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Some readers have asked me to put together outfit options for summer like I did for Fall and Spring. I’m more than happy to oblige and I apologize for the delay, this summer has been a busy one. This will still come in handy for anyone lucky enough to be traveling to the southern hemisphere like South America or Australia.

I’m pulling the outfits from the 11 piece capsule summer wardrobe I’ve already put together. The pieces are: 1 light jacket, 1 light sweater or other coverup layer, 1 Blouse/Button Down, 2 sleeveless tops, 2 tees/tops, 2 bottoms, 1 day and 1 evening dress. For the purposes of this illustration I’ve also included outfits for the optional shorts in case you bring shorts instead of jeans.

As always you want your airplane outfit to be comfortable. Layers are still important in the summer because even though your destination may be hot the airplane can still get cold. I included jeans in my Summer packing list but if your destination is REALLY hot or humid don’t bring them, pack a skirt instead.


Of course you can stick to classic neutrals such as khaki, black, and gray in your color palette but I like a little more color in the summer. I added splashes of blue, coral, and army green to the neutral palette. A smart little day dress will get you through any day of sightseeing comfortably. Mix and match your other pieces for lots of other outfit options.

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With summer here that means road trips, weekend getaways, and if you’re lucky longer excursions. As I plan my own summer adventures I thought I’d put together a list of items to get you through your summer trips stylishly. Living in Texas the only temperature variations we experience during summer is hot and hotter. However, traveling anywhere else you can expect cooler temps in the mornings and evenings which means layering is your friend.

The 11 articles of clothing I recommend (1 light jacket, 1 light sweater or other coverup layer, 1 Blouse/Button Down, 2 sleeveless tops, 2 tees/tops, 2 bottoms, 1 day and 1 evening dress) should get you through a typical city getaway. If you are doing more of a beach getaway adjust the items to fit your activities. For example instead of bringing jeans and a skirt just stick to shorts and / or skirts. Check out my packing light guidelines for more tips.


In the summer I feel you can add a little more color to your travel wardrobe instead of just sticking to basic neutrals. Blue is the main color in this palette but amped up to a bright cobalt level. This pairs well with the subdued green of the army green denim jacket, the black skirt, and of course jeans. It even looks refreshing against the coral of the optional shorts. I kept the dresses black because black dresses prove themselves to be the most versatile and always look chic. I love chambray and the chambray button down makes for a great top layer during the summer. Don’t be afraid to do the double denim thing and pair it with jeans. Of course if you feel unsure matching up colors stick to basic neutrals.

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Here’s a few of the outfit options you can put together from just 11 pieces of clothing: 1 Outerwear, 2 Sweaters, 1 Blouse/Button down, 2 layering tanks, 2 tees/tops, 2 jeans/pants, and 1 dress. The visual list can be found here. This is by no means every possible combination, just some examples to illustrate that you can make a few items of clothing go a long way. If you’ve got room in your luggage for some of the optional items I listed then your travel wardrobe stretches even a bit further.

You want an airplane outfit to be comfortable but by wearing your bulkiest layers you can keep your suitcase light. The extra layers will also help you deal with the temperature changes during your travel day.


By sticking to a neutral color palette and packing basic items you can mix and match travel outfits easily. Here’s an example of just a few of the travel ensembles you can put together. Your shoe choice dresses your outfit up or down. I chose the Converse sneakers from the Packing Essentials list because flats do tend to bother my feet after a few hours of walking.
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With Spring in the air I thought I’d do another series of visual posts with a focus on Fall and Spring packing. I feel the similar temperature ranges (anywhere from 40ºF/4ºC to 80ºF/26ºC) for both seasons makes the packing list just about the same. Of course this is just meant to serve as a guideline and you can tweak it based on your travel destination and personal style. The suggestions provided are for city getaways (foreign and domestic) doing the normal range of tourist activities.

The 11 articles of clothing I recommend (1 outerwear, 2 sweaters, 1 Blouse/Button down, 2 layering tanks, 2 tees/tops, 2 jeans/pants, and 1 dress) should get you through a week or several months worth of travel (if you are doing laundry on the road). If you are traveling for less than a week I would eliminate a few items. Refer to my packing light post if you need a few reminders on packing light guidelines.

Packing Essentials for Fall & Spring

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